Last week I came home from the second hand store with Obama’s Dreams from my Father, Wyrd Sisters, one of a series by Terry Prachett, who I had always meant to check out, and Lewis Thomas’s Elementary Turkish (no audio). Why not. If I can’t control myself around books, at least I can be out of control in a place where I can find five books for a dollar.
It seems like they have fewer and fewer books lately, but this week I came home with some that look promising. Starting from the bottom, two volumes of Kipling, not my favorite “Tales from the Hills”, but some I have not read nonetheless. On top of the Kipling, Louise Erdrich’s Tracks and The Master Butchers Singing Club. Just yesterday I saw her name for the first time when Bill Moyers interviewed her, and already I have two of her books I can read for myself. Above that, Edvard Radzinsky’s The Rasputin File, looks well researched. Ra, Ra, Rasputin. Then, a 1928 edition of Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses with Dorothy E. Russell’s deco drawings of lamplighters and aunties in trailing skirts, the Nueva Version Internacional edition of the Bible in Spanish, and the first person death penalty account Dead Man Walking by Sister Helen Prejean.
Ah, now here’s Isobel Chace’s The Clouded Veil, a Harlequin romance. Not my usual fare and the description on the back cover is usually better than what’s between the covers, but she wrote in the 60s and she wrote about Arab countries. I once waded through a predictably boring story of a young girl following an archaeologist father in The Desert Castle–except the castle was in Jordan and the book contained an account of entering the country through Beirut–and returning to Beirut to purchase art supplies! Amman must have been a really hick town with no airport. This one promises “Elinor had been virtually a widow for two years, her husband having disappeared somewhere in Morocco. Now out of the blue, he had turned up again–but he now seemed like a stranger to her. Could they possibly manage to save their marriage?” Let’s see, turning to the last page [spoiler alert!] she says, “I love you as the desert loves the rain…” Yup, looks like it.
The last two, Clarissa Estes’ Women Who Run With the Wolves about psychological archetypes in fiction (I’ve started to read it before and never finished) and Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Writings (a 20th century classic?) seem like Books I Should Read Some Day, so they will go on the shelf. Since I already know how the Chace ends, maybe I’ll start with one of the Erdrich books or the Rasputin, depending on whether I’m in the mood for spiritual enlightenment or unbridaled depravity.